Opening Day is here. The Jays take on the Yankees tomorrow afternoon to kick off their 162-game marathon, with seemingly low expectations and not a ton of hope for playoff contention. With Opening Day comes 500 Level Fan’s final prediction column of the year. In past Blue Jays prediction columns, I have gone all in on guys like Eric Thames, Colby Rasmus, and Colt Hynes. Oops, oops, and oops!
So who will be my darling this year?
Here are 25 predictions about Toronto’s upcoming season. Enjoy!
1. Josh Donaldson rakes in his walk-year, hitting 40 HR with a .980 OPS.
2. Despite incessant rumours all season long, Donaldson lasts the entire season in Toronto and is not traded before the deadline.
4. Marcus Stroman pitches over 200 innings and joins Sanchez in the top-10 in Cy balloting.
6. Sadly we don’t see Troy Tulowitzki until June, and then only for a few weeks before he misses the rest of the season with yet another injury.
7. Happily, we do see Devon Travis stay healthy, and play over 140 games at 2B.
8. Kendrys Morales narrows his huge OPS splits by posting an OPS less than 100 points greater vs. LHP than vs. RHP.
9. Justin Smoak fails to replicate his huge 2017, but still eclipses the 25 HR mark.
10. Roberto Osuna leads the AL in saves.
11. The Jays never post a streak (either winning or losing) of over 4.
12. Randal Grichuk makes the American League All-Star team.
13. Toronto holds their own against the AL East, finishing over .500 against Tampa, Baltimore, New York, and Boston.
14. Danny Jansen becomes the backup catcher before the season’s half way point.
15. With expectations lower than in years past the Jays fail to reach the 3-million mark in attendance for the first time since 2015.
16. Toronto and Baltimore engage in not one, but two bench clearing incidents.
17. After finishing dead last in the AL and 27th overall in MLB in runs scored in 2017, the Jays offense rebounds to finish in the top half.
18. Travis posts a 25-game hitting streak.
19. Despite pleas from fans, Vladdy Jr. and Bo Bichette do not make a major league appearance in 2018.
20. Jose Bautista signs with Tampa Bay and returns to Toronto as a visiting player on August 10th. He is greeted by a massive ovation.
21. Rougned Odor hits less than .100 against Toronto pitching.
24. Curtis Granderson has a nice first half but is traded in advance of the July deadline.
25. The Jays stay competitive all season long and sneak into the playoffs as the second Wild Card team by outlasting Minnesota on the season’s final day.